The Count watched as the wilful girl began to take a single and greatly laboured step towards him. Despite her grip on the blade tightening, her strength faltered and she fell to one knee. The Count redoubled his efforts, pressing his will upon her. Jacquelyn's shoulders fell as her hold on the blade loosened. There was a heavy tension in the air between them. The Count in his weakened state lacked the strength to dominate her fighting resistance. He filled her mind with temptations, sweet, alluring hopes and far fetched dreams. He assaulted her with promises of unparalleled desires and pleasures. Every fantasy she countered, he changed his promise, desperately trying to find a desire that would give her pause, make her falter. Yet, Jacquelyn equally had given up too much of herself to him in her struggle. A cold truth dawned upon her. She no longer had the strength to resist him as she did before. The huntress and her quarrel were now in a slow dance of destruction. It became more difficult to keep fighting off the images that were forced into her mind. Every scene that played out in her mind was costing her a little more of her will, a little more time to break free and recall reality.
The hunter and his prey was forced into a stalemate. Both were fighting to survival, to outlast the other. The Count struggled to hold his gaze, the numbness had taken hold and he could feel it creeping steadily up his neck. Despite this, there was little else he could do but endure. Were he to let up even one sliver of his attack upon her, she could break free. Time stretched on as the pair stared off and their bodies grew restless, holding tension and muscles began to burn with fatigue. The edges of the Count's vision started to fade. The constant strain to maintain the conflict with the girl was about to end. For the first time in an eternity, the Count was about to fail. Screwing up his fists, he called upon every last ounce of himself, yet he could feel it would not be enough. He could not outlast her, he was nearly spent. The two figures stood locked in their battle. Time was almost at a standstill as the tension rose. The Count strained to hold the girl back as she drove the blade closer to him. The moment was drawn out, moving at a torturously slow pace. Jacquelyn strained to keep hold of the blade now. His voice was in her head, whispering for her to just let go, to release it. Every word was so sweet and the weight of it was becoming unbearable as she held on. Jacquelyn only needed to resist for a little longer and it would be over, her ordeal would be at an end, she would be victorious. However, fate is a fickle mistress, and tonight she was especially amused with toying with Jacquelyn. As Jacquelyn was just about to grasp victory, the doors swung open and then entered a lone sole that would shift the balance.
It took great restraint, but neither Jacquelyn nor the Count broke their concentration with the entrance of this third party. They could hear the footsteps across the tiled floor as the stranger drew closer. Slowly the figure skirted around the edges of Jacquelyn's vision, but she dared not to break her concentration. Maintaining her hold was testing her resolve, yet dread was starting to claw at her.
Suddenly the figured appeared in Jacquelyn's field of sight and gracefully sank to her knees. Yvonne had returned, chirping happily as she lowered her head and raised up a goblet, "Your wine, Master!"
The hand maiden waited there, seemingly unaware of the great tension in the air. Jacquelyn could feel his concentration slip for a brief moment and she pushed harder, trying to will her body to move.
The Count raged inside and his concentration broke for a moment. He struggled to bring his will to bear against Jacquelyn as she took advantage and slowly inched forward, closing the already short distance. The stupid girl had nearly proven to be a fatal distraction. The rage hardened his determination and he drew upon it. Clenching his fist as tightly as he could, he turned part of his will towards the girl.
Yvonne looked up after a long pause and gasped in surprise as she realised something was amiss, "Master! You are injured! I shall help you Master and..."
Yvonne suddenly went silent, her voice stopping as though it had been snatched away from her. Her eyes widened and she rose up from kneeling, her movement was rigid, far from normal. Jacquelyn tried to find some extra strength to push forward with the blade, but watched as Yvonne moved between the tip of the blade and the Count. Yvonne stood there, exposed and venerable, facing Jacquelyn. Her eyes were vacant, as she stared unblinkingly into Jacquelyn.
"Surrender now, little pet or this girl will die." Yvonne spoke in a flat, even tone.
The hand maiden pushed forward and the point of the blade pressed against her throat. Although it was her voice, Jacquelyn knew they were His words.
Jacquelyn tightened her grip as the images in her mind waned for a moment. Her Mentor had taught her that often there would be times where innocents would be harmed and long had Jacquelyn been prepared to cause harm to complete her tasks. However, right now, being confronted with this situation, the gravity of her choice was crushing her. Jacquelyn squeezed her eyes shut and gritted her teeth. If she could push with enough force, the blade would find its mark to slay the vampire, but the girl would die. Jacquelyn knew the decision would haunt her, but it needed to be done. She shifted her footing to strike and then stopped suddenly, a cold horror took hold.
"Please..." The broken and trembling voice of the handmaiden begged.
Jacquelyn opened her eyes and stared at Yvonne. No longer was her face passive and her eyes vacant. She could see the fear and terror in the handmaiden's eyes and feel her body trembling through the blade. "Please my lady...I do not want to die. Please...save me from Him" Yvonne begged again, her voice was soul retching.
Jacquelyn inwardly pleaded her to move, to fight against the vampire. The girl only needed to move an inch to be saved. Part of Jacquelyn wished the girl had become nothing but a puppet to the vampire. She could run the blade through Yvonne if there was nothing left of her to save, but now, Jacquelyn's determination faltered.
"Let go of the blade and give yourself to Me." The cold voice sounded from Yvonne's lips while fear and terror remained in her eyes.
Jacquelyn cursed herself, cursed Him and cursed the handmaiden in her mind. The tears welled up in Jacquelyn's eyes as all her strength deserted her, the grip on the blade vanished and it clanged upon the floor. Jacquelyn fell heavily to her knees as they gave, despair and hopelessness were all that remained with her now.
Yvonne stammered as she tried to plead. "No, no, please."
She leaned down slowly to pick up the blade, her movements were halting. "You do not need to do this...I...i...will obey" she began to sob.
Her fingers tensed around the hilt and she brought the edge to her throat, her arm shaking as she held it there. The Count visibly relaxed as the mental strained lessened. Jacquelyn watched as he approached, he looked like a wounded animal trying to present a strong appearance. From her knees, she looked up at the monster, her eyes burning him with her fury. She felt him once again try to slip into her mind, pushing images of her, draped over him. She was almost purring softly as he idly stroked her in the fantasy. The slowly extended his hand to her face and Jacquelyn's lips softly parted as she softly took in a breath. She was expecting him to softly brush her cheek. Instead, he darted his hand to the back of her head and cruelly grabbed her by the hair, pulling her up to her feet. Instinctively Jacquelyn gripped his hand, trying to relieve the pressure and instantly wanted to strike out at him. His words pierced her thoughts before she reacted.
"Do not move, you troublesome harlot." He threatened as Jacquelyn heard the feeble sobs from the handmaiden.
Jacquelyn fought back every instinct that wanted to strike out, to fight back and crush and destroy to him.
The Count stared into her hard burning eyes, "I should just feed upon you. I should bend you back and sink my fangs into your flesh. I should feed from you and save myself much grief." He menacingly half cursed at her as he pulled her head back and exposed her neck.
"I should have you right here and right now..." he continued before dashing in with fangs bared.
Jacquelyn tensed up, prepared for the pain and her then found herself waiting. He had stopped short and Jacquelyn's chest rose and fell in short, sharp breaths. The vampire snorted in contempt and spun the girl around to face the mirrored wall.
"Look at yourself. You cannot fight me. You are even panting at the thought of being taken." His voice was dripping with arrogance. Jacquelyn's eyes hardly bothered taking in the image of her, barely clothed, an invisible force holding her in check. Her gaze caught a small glimmer upon the ground. The Count threw Jacquelyn forward by the back of her head. Jacquelyn fell upon the floor, but did not move as she lay upon the ground, fighting back the growing anger inside her.
The Count turned away, and continued, "You brought this upon yourself. You forced me to treat you this way. You know I can be kind when you behave, but I will show you who is in control."
Jacquelyn paid little heed to his words but instead reached out for the small glean that caught her eye from before. She quickly grasped it and could feel its shape and the coolness of the glass. Jacquelyn held it close to her chest, concealing it.
The Count pulled away a thick cord that held the curtains and turned to face Jacquelyn. "I want you to come crawling to me, begging for my control before I reward you my gift. Now, crawl here and kneel before your Master." His tone was hard, but Jacquelyn could hear hints of it wavering. There was a long moment of tension after Jacquelyn picked herself up from the floor. She looked at the vampire with seething anger and held her gaze. Jacquelyn clenched her fist and then heard a squeak from Yvonne as her hand moved, making a small cut. Jacquelyn closed her eyes and breathed heavily, unclenching her fist. She slowly crawled over to the Count and kneeled before him.
He looked to the handmaiden and she rigidly approached, slowly handing him the blade to hold to her neck. "Yes..yes Master. I will obey..." Yvonne barely whispered as she took the cord from him and leaned in to tie it. "I am sorry...I am truly. He...I cannot stop myself. Please help me...sister" the handmaiden softly spoke. Jacquelyn remained still and unmoving. Sister. The word invoked something inside her, something He had put there. Jacquelyn wanted to help the girl, wanted to protect her. 'Help our sister. She needs us to join her in serving Master,' echoed that soft voice in her head that Jacquelyn tried to ignore. Despite the pleas of the girl and how the words tugged at her very being, she did not act. There was little Jacquelyn could do without sacrificing the handmaiden's life were she to act.
Yvonne's eyes glossed over as her mind was smothered by His will. The handmaiden pulled Jacquelyn's arms behind her and bound her wrists together. Jacquelyn felt the cord being coiled around her neck and as it pulled in tight against her skin, digging slightly into her throat. The Count watched Jacquelyn intensely as he continued to hold the handmaiden under threat. Jacquelyn watched almost passively as her eyes were unfocused. In her mind, she was relinquishing precious aspects of herself to the vampire as he pushed. Although retreating, she forced him to work hard for his minor advances into her mind.
The cord tugged slightly as Yvonne secured it around Jacquelyn's neck and lead out the remaining length back to The Count. He took the end of the cord and pulled it sharply, causing the coil to tighten and squeeze. Jacquelyn felt it starting to constrict her breathing uncomfortably, but she remained still. The Count pulled once more and this time Jacquelyn heard his voice in her mind, 'Rise and follow.' The force of his will pressed in upon her and to her surprise, part of her answered. 'Yes Mast....' The soft inner voice almost purred before she caught herself. Jacquelyn resisted the urge to further rage at the voice. It would only further distract her from holding onto what resistance remained.
The Count started leading Jacquelyn through the manor, almost like leading a reluctant pet. Now that Jacquelyn had stopped actively trying to over power him, he kept a firm hold of her body. Jacquelyn felt oddly disconnected with her movements, moving along behind the vampire. He no longer tried to seduce her into obedience, for the moment, more directly controlling her body. Yvonne followed along beside Jacquelyn. Her movements mirrored Jacquelyn's almost perfectly, leaving little doubt that she was being equally dominated. 'You will help me find a morsel to restore my strength from the distracting nuisances of before.' His voice whispered into her mind and Jacquelyn inwardly cringed at the thought.
It was then that Yvonne's soft voice started to fill Jacquelyn's ear. "Count De'Lu Carla is our Master. We are His slaves. It gives us pleasure to obey Him."
'A little idle chatter should hasten the search,' His voice almost oozed arrogance into her thoughts.
Her inner voice started to chant in unison with the handmaiden. 'Count De'Lu Carla is our Ma..'. and Jacquelyn interrupted forcefully, 'Monster.'
'We are His sla...'
'It gives us pleasure to ob...' Her soft voice continued without even a pause.
'Obliterate him' Jacquelyn almost sounded in her thoughts with am amused tone.
Her soft inner voice almost seemed to pout. Jacquelyn enjoyed this little clever defiance. Despite each interruption to the chant costing her, she needed to maintain some active defiance.
Jacquelyn became a little lost in her mental games as her body diligently followed behind the vampire. She was unsure if he knew this would be her response to his actions, but it was starting to fracture her concentration. Her mind started to be caught up in the rhythm of the mantra. Even replacing words, the mantra flowed so easily in her mind. It became almost calming and in some ways, pleasing to recite.
'We are not His slaves.' Jacquelyn intoned in her mind as the phrase echoed.
'We are not His slaves.' Her thoughts droned as her attention started to slip.
'We are His slaves...' The softer voice whispered.
Jacquelyn may not have noticed the slip in her thoughts were it not for the sharp tug on the cord that pulled against her neck. The Count brought them to a halt and silently Jacquelyn cursed herself for being complacent.
He had brought them back to the main hall, but the ball had well and truly finished now. Through ornate doorway, the hall stood quiet, save for a single maid. It looked vast without the crowds, very empty. The reflective walls gave the illusion of opening out expansively. The maid was at the far end, tidying and adjusting a table that sat against one of the walls. Jacquelyn silently willed the girl to go elsewhere, but her pleading thoughts were to no avail. Yvonne stepped forward and the Count spoke to her in a low whisper. Jacquelyn felt his assault upon her mind easing for a moment. She silently noted the changes, observing and waiting for her moment should it arise. The handmaiden responded in a quivering voice, "Y..yes...i will obey."
She walked set off towards the maid, her practised movements not making a noise. The Count stood in close to Jacquelyn, cloaking her and pushing her against the wall. He faced her as he pressed the blade into her ribs. "Not one move. Even tense a muscle and I will end our little game." He threatened menacingly.
'No Master. Not even a sound, Master.' Her inner voice almost whimpered. Jacquelyn let her anger smoulder.
It was a desperate move for him He had spent most of his strength in keeping up the facade of absolute control. Now, he needed to feed to regain some strength. He needed stop the girl from striking when the advantage was hers. They listened carefully with a heavy air of suspense between then. The hushed voices of Yvonne and the maid carried to them through the stillness.
The pair approached Jacquelyn and the Count, the maid speaking quietly, "Milady, are you unwell? I can help take you to a..." She stopped and gasped as the Count moved away from Jacquelyn. The maid saw Jacquelyn's undressed state and was taken back before the Count caught her chin and forced her focus upon him.
The maid took some steps quickly tried to back away, her gaze never breaking with the Count's. He strode forward, pulling Jacquelyn who lurched and toppled forward onto the floor. Yvonne came and took the blade from the vampire as he brought his other hand to the back of the maid's head. Jacquelyn lay upon the floor, watching the scene play out in front of her. She could see the flush coming to the girl's face and the quickening of her breathing. The maid's feeble pleas very quickly dissolved into laboured pants and half moans. The Count just held her there, whispering into the maid's ear, a sly look towards Jacquelyn every now and again. Jacquelyn showed no expression, she merely watched. Part of her felt a little envious, jealous even of the maid. The other part seethed with fury, swearing that her time would come soon enough.
The maid's body quivered as her hands sought to add to her pleasure. Jacquelyn knew all too well what game the Count was playing with the girl. "Please..." She pleaded.
The Count shot a knowing smirk to Jacquelyn and looked back to the maid. "Please, what?" He retorted to whimpering.
"Please, Master. Please may I..." Her voice trailed off as her eyes rolled up into her head, a long, low moan escaping her lips.
The vampire revelled in how the girl danced upon his strings. Despite this, the strain of the battle was starting to show. The slight spasms in his arms were starting to increase as his hold over Jacquelyn was weakening.
"That is a little better, My girl. But...I still do not think you are desperate enough, yet." He almost melodically teased.
The maid let out a desperate and disappointed moan, her body going growing increasingly restless and wanting. "Master. Please. Anything, i..i will do anything..." She pleased even more desperately as her hips began to buck the air.
"You are so very close now, yes?" His voice continued to string her along.
"Yes, yes, please. Please, I need it..." She panted as the words only just came out between the whimpers.
The Count grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, exposing the maid's neck. In a single movement, he covered her mouth and bared his fangs, sinking them into her neck. Jacquelyn watched as the girl let out a muffled cry of pain and ecstasy. Jacquelyn watched the empty eyes of the maid as they rolled into her head, the whites an eerie sight. The maid's body shuddered and convulsed as the sensations ripped through her body. The Count held her only by her head, drinking deeply at her neck. The vampire continued to drink her, the primal beast inside once again was unleashed. Long moments passed and the shudders in the girl's body grew weaker. Jacquelyn dared not make her act now. She had encountered the beast and would not win if she dared. Suddenly, Jacquelyn saw the maid's body fall to the floor, the vampire having had his feed. Jacquelyn's eyes focused sharply on the face that lay opposite her. She was no longer passively watching. The maid was still and motionless. Jacquelyn saw her fate. The maid's glassy eyes stared into Jacquelyn and a dead cold crept in.
Jacquelyn stared into the girl's eyes, resigning herself when suddenly the maid blinked and took in a shuddering breath. Jacquelyn's heart skipped a beat and she felt it painfully in her chest. Few people lived once a feeding had begun, let alone finished. Yvonne gently helped the maid up after a few moments and they slowly staggered out of the hall. The Count turned his attention to Jacquelyn, the arrogant smirk once more on his lips. He strode over and pulled her up by the coils of cord around her neck. Jacquelyn could feel the tendril like vines of his will forcing in upon her mind. "You see, My little pet. If you are a good girl, you are rewarded. I am a very kind Master. That serving girl obeyed and she was rewarded. She will wake in the morrow, having had perhaps the most delightful dream of her existence." He almost purred into her ear.
"You, however, forced my hand with your disobedience. You brought about the pain and hurt you experience. I am merely reacting to your own actions." His voice almost chided.
'Yes, Master. We shall try to be a better girl for You.' The inner voice whispered crestfallenly.
Jacquelyn clenched her jaw and stare back, raging at the vampire, raging at herself. He only smirked a little and gently untied her from the bindings. Jacquelyn felt the coils unravelling from around her neck and it was greeted with a sense of relief and dread. He deliberately took his time, ever confident as his strength returned to him. "Would you like to see your Master's softer side, my pet?" He whispered as he leaned in close to her. She did not respond, but remained still, her chest slowly rising and falling with each breath. He waited a moment and then began whispering again. Slowly and carefully, he let his hand glide down her arm and gently touch the back of her hand. He grinned to himself and softly pressed his lips to her ear as he spoke a single word.
Jacquelyn nodded and repeated after him.
“Bound.” she said simply.
Hearing her soft voice gave him great delight and he shifted his gaze, moving her towards the wall to watch her in the mirror.
“Now My little pet, gaze at your reflection, watch as you slip deeper under My spell.” He spoke with almost joyful mischief in his voice. He lightly pressed his hand against hers and drew it back, watching as her hand moved slowly to follow his own. Jacquelyn’s movements were slow and graceful. There may have been some part of her that was aware and she would have felt her hand being pulled by invisible strings. The reflection in the mirror was showing only her, moving to the unseen gestures of the Count’s hands pulling her strings. He then did likewise with her other hand, touching it gently before drawing it back and watching as hers mimicked. A smile came to his lips as Jacquelyn responded, she was ready for the little game of his.
He moved his hands on the front of her stomach, one resting upon the other.
“Smile, My pet. You should show Me how delightfully happy you are being My puppet.” The Count cooed sweetly from behind her.
He watched Jacquelyn as he pulled at those mental stings he had placed upon her. He had only lightly touched the back of her hand with his and pulled away, watching as her hand had followed, being pulled along. He grinned, watching how responsive, how very docile and compliant.
He took a moment, moving his hands around her body, but not touching, just observing as she moved effortlessly in the direction he was pulling her. Tilting her head to one side as his hand passed over her head, posing her hands in front of her and then above her. Leaning in close, he took great pleasure in seeing only her reflection in the mirror.
“Watch now, My little pet. See how you dance as My marionette.” He whispered into her ear. He pulled at her strings again and watched as she moved. Her movements were fluid and graceful. The Count entertained a passing curiosity to the reason for her grace. He was little unsure if it was her natural abilities or his mastery, but it mattered little, for he was her puppet master now.
She stood there, arm outstretched, her body leaning into the pose, almost frozen in place, yet her body relaxed. The Count gently touched her shoulder and felt no reaction to him. His eyes slowly wandered along her arm and his hand followed, softly brushing along her skin. He took her hand and turned it upwards, opening it to reveal her palm. He traced a fingertip along the lines on her palm, feeling the little ridges tickling his fingertip. The Count’s touch lingered for a moment before he drew back, pulling again at the mental strings. Again, Jacquelyn’s arm drew back, going around her head as her body shifted, doing a slow twirl for the Count.
He watched with great satisfaction, “Such poise and beauty. Observe the grace with which I can control you, My little slayer.”
The Count continued to pull the strings of his marionette, watching with great interest, critiquing her. Although he stood behind her, his form was invisible to the mirror. Jacquelyn’s head titled slightly to her left, causing some of her hair to tumble over her shoulder. The blank expression she wore changed only slightly as a large, vacant grin began to spread across her face. Her eyes were glassy and empty as she gazed at herself, with a stupefied smiled. Idly, the Count wondered what this image of herself may do to any part of her that remained resistant. He wanted her to see herself so broken, completely within his control, moving and posing herself to his every whim.
The Count’s right hand hovered above her hand for a moment before he moved slowly. Jacquelyn’s actioned mirrored his and her body moved to his will, with perfectly synchronisation. She brought her right leg up in front of her, knee bent at first, but she slowly extended it under his influence. With her leg outstretched, she slowly pivoted on her toe. The Count moved slowly around her, as she rotated before pausing under his command. Holding the pose for a moment and then bringing her leg upright, her posture only shifting marginally. The Count entertained the thoughts of running his hand along her leg, letting his hand cup her slender curves and slide upwards. He imagined the slight shiver it might send through her body to have his hand snake up her inner thigh. He resisted the desire to run his hand along her leg, for now, contended with letting his eyes caress her legs, savouring every inch. Finally, he released her from the pose and she brought her leg down, standing once more, with her feet together.
The Count twirled Jacquelyn one final time and watched with great satisfaction as she stood, hands posed in front of her waist. Her breathing was a little faster, but she still wore the vacant grin on her face. She was ready for the next stage in her submission. He positioned himself around behind her and started to whisper in her ear, filling her mind. He reached forward and places his hands upon her shoulders, taking a firm hold. The Count closed his eyes for a moment and leaned in close to give Jacquelyn a single command. "Imagine."
Jacquelyn felt soft, calm and docile once more. She stood at the edge of an ornate room under a domed roof. The only features she could note were windows all around the room that looked out into the night. A full, bright moon beamed soft rays, filling the room. In the centre, stood a glass lantern upon a pedestal, housing a shimmer flame of radiant colours. It danced and shimmered through the spectrum, the myriad of colours looked so beautiful. Jacquelyn found her attention being so easily drawn to it. The colours were mesmerising as they shifted and danced.
Surrounding the lantern were concentric rings of candles. Each candle stood upon a stand that reached as high as her chest. Jacquelyn counted seven circles of candles surrounding the centre, yet only the three most inner circles were lit. The remaining rings were dark, cloaked in the shadows that stretched inwards despite the moonlight. Despite there only being three lit rings, Jacquelyn had a sense that each ring burned of a different coloured flame.
The moonlight and soft shadow lapped at the edge of the outer most circles of lit candles. Staring at the shadows and light dancing back and forth on the titled floor, Jacquelyn idly wondered if the light and shadows were competing. Her mind was soft and hazy, as thoughts came to her, they vanished almost as quickly. Even chasing and trying to grab a single thought was elusive, like trying to hold water in her hand.
Suddenly, her insubstantial thoughts were interrupted by His voice. “This is your mind, My slayer pet. The moonlight and shadows are what you see as My will. You can think of it as the soft velvet blanket of My control that you feel upon you.”
His voice was powerful here. His words were commanding and to her softer side, she felt the absolute need to obey. She felt her knees go weak just listening to Him, every word called to something deep inside her.
“You have done well to accept My will thus far. Now, the time has come to surrender completely. Go forth and be a servant of My will. Extinguish the candles of your resistance. You need to completely embrace the moon and shadow. You must embrace My will.” He words echoed in the room and within her.
Jacquelyn shivered in pleasure just listening to Him and moved slowly towards the light. She felt no resistance as she moved in the soft shadows leading towards the ring, but as she stepped across the threshold into the light, she felt force pushing against her. She sensed her other self fighting, trying to push back her Master. It saddened her to feel the resistance. She wanted herself to enjoy what she could feel, to be at peace and accept Master's gifts. Stepping toward the nearest candle, she could feel no heat from it. The soft purple light from it lapped at her face, yet she felt very little as she reached out towards it. Cupping her hand behind the candle, she blew gently. The flame flickered and desperately held to the wick, clinging. She blew again, more firmly and the flame extinguished, setting off a cascading effect as the candles adjacent extinguished in pairs. The ring of light vanished, each flame disappearing around the circle until the final candle flickered out. The shadows eagerly filled the void left by the retreating light and Jacquelyn felt the pressure ease.
“Good girl. You have done very well for your Master,” The Count cooed in her mind and she shivered in soft delight, even a small smile touched her lips.
“Now extinguish the next layer of resistance.”
Jacquelyn advanced to the edge of the light and shadow. The contest between the two elements seemed to grow fiercer. These candles crackled, almost spitting little embers. Passing through the veil of control, she once again felt a force repelling her. This time, it was stronger, more determined. Jacquelyn was feeling a wall of pressure pushing her back. The soft blue light of this circle felt cool upon her skin, almost invigorating. It brought up some distant fuzzy memories. She recalled a time with her mentor, gently dipping her toes into a stream as he told her stories. There was something important about these stories, something she felt she needed to recall. It was then that Jacquelyn felt a firm hand on her shoulders and His voice in her mind. "Focus, My little pet. Let the shadows in." His voice quietly sang to her.
She moved forward, paying little attention to the light, her focus was the candle before her. Reaching out, she cupped her hand behind the flame and blew.
As she blew out the candle before her, she watched as the circle of light evaporated. The candles flickering and extinguishing in pairs as they moved around the circle. A sense of happiness and pride welled inside her as she obeyed. She heard His voice, it was so pleased, full of praise. “Excellent My pet. You have pleased Me greatly. Now, extinguish the final layer.”
Jacquelyn hesitated as she approached the final circle surrounding the pedestal. The red light radiated more intensely than the other circles. It possessed almost a rage in its light, holding the shadows further at bay than the others. Jacquelyn felt a strong compulsion to retreat, to shrink away and hide as she entered the influence of this circle.
Jacquelyn struggled with each step. It took great effort to not give in to the desires to turn away. She tried to advance another step, but the desire to turn away was overwhelming now. Jacquelyn turned her face away from the light and felt the pressure ease. She was about to turn and go back into the shadows when she felt His touch. He took a firm hold of the back of her neck, his fingers wrapping around the sides. Jacquelyn froze instantly. Her mind and body just paused. It felt as though she had just switched off completely. It was instant and complete relaxation from His touch. The Count’s voice was now in her head, whispering to her. He held firmly to the back of her neck, driving her forward into the light. She was lost in his words now. There were no thoughts. Only His voice was in her mind. Unthinkingly, she advanced until she reached the candle. The light rose in intensity, trying to force her away but his voice held her. As she blew it out, the pressure vanished. The shadows swept in behind her, wrapping around her like cloak.
Jacquelyn's eyes fluttered open and she gazed at the Count with an unfocused stare. He looked pleased and spoke softly to her. “You have done extremely well My little slayer. Take the final step to your complete submission. Go deep, slip down into the depths of your mind. Go to your very soul and extinguish the last of your resistance. Surrender the last of the fight that holds you back from pleasure. Give yourself to bliss. Embrace your fate. Now, My pet, sink…”
His voice trailed off as her eyes slid shut. She gently sank to her knees and she found herself in front of the lantern.
The colours shimmered brightly within the lantern. It was dazzlingly beautiful. Jacquelyn felt so soft and at ease as she almost timidly reached out towards it. It was as though it waited for her, the lights dancing faster, more excitedly as she went to open the access door to the flame. As her fingers grasped the handle, the light flared up, blinding her with its brightness. She felt a wave of warmth pulse up her arm and fill her. It felt so good, so right. Jacquelyn reached in, feeling as it was what she needed to do. The flame gently lapped at her fingers and slowly spread up her hand. She closed her eyes, feeling the light starting to imbue itself within her. Jacquelyn felt something shift inside her and a stillness. A smile came to her lips, everything was coming together.
Jacquelyn’s eyes opened and the world slid into crisp, clear vision. The Count stood before her, grinning. Jacquelyn felt different now. There was almost no conflict she could feel within her. There was no voice fighting her at every word. Jacquelyn felt a sense of ease about her and she smiled at the Count. He motioned over to Yvonne, who came to him and kneeled, presenting Jacquelyn's tools.
The Count looked at Jacquelyn and spoke quietly. "Take up the instruments of your former life, My pet."
Jacquelyn reached forth for a stake and grasped it firmly. The Count took a few paces back and had Yvonne remove the mail that he wore. He confidently outstretched his arms and looked to his newest prize.
"If you feel any desire to strike Me down, now is your chance, My little slayer."
He looked on, observing her body and face.
Instead of replying, Jacquelyn let the stake she was holding slip from her grasp and sank to her knees. She crawled over to him and kneeled at his feet. This felt like her place. She looked up at him, her eyes full of awe and wonder. He grinned and ran his hand through her hair, petting her. Jacquelyn gave a gentle little purr and turned her head to nuzzle into his hand. The Count was extremely pleased with her submission. Jacquelyn smiled softly to herself.
He ordered her to stand and walk over to one of the small tables resting against the mirrored wall. As she stood before the table, the Count slipped in behind her. She could feel his chest pressing into her back and she leaned into him. He wrapped his arms around her hips for a moment and she revelled in being held. He called Yvonne over, asking her to unlock the small drawer for the table. She wisped her way to the table, unlocking it and slipping back off to the side, falling to her knees. The Count leaned in close and whispered in Jacquelyn’s ear, “Be a good pet and dispose of your slaying apparatus in the drawer while I attend to your sister.”
Jacquelyn felt his arms slip away from her waist and she heard his steps across the tiles as he went over to Yvonne. Jacquelyn looked down and retrieved her small silver chain from among her tools. She deposited it in the drawer, listening to the clinking of the metal as it slid from her fingers. She then stepped away to pick up her stake. She examined it for a long moment, feeling her fingers tightening around it and releasing her grip. She watched as her stake rolled from her fingers. Although she watched her actions, she felt disconnected from them. Jacquelyn’s hand sought out the last of her slaying tools from her bodice. She slid the last vial of holy water from its hiding place. She held it up, the moonlight catching on the glass as she gazed at it. Jacquelyn tilted her head slightly, appearing fascinated by it. As she gazed idly at it, the words repeating in her mind to dispose of it. His words and hers mixed together in her mind, as one. Jacquelyn slowly undid the stopper and stared at it for another long moment, drawing it close to her eyes before tipping the holy water from its vial. She felt the cool kiss of the water as it cascaded down her neck quickly followed by the sound of the glass clinking as it fell into the drawer.
Jacquelyn stood there, feeling the cool air wisping across her neck, the soft murmurs of Yvonne as the Count entertained himself with her. A sense of pride and satisfaction filled Jacquelyn. She waited patiently, her mind still slow from only recently emerging from the depths of her being. She did not notice time passing until she felt the Count step up behind her. His hands slid along her sides and she quivered. They continued across her shoulders and along her arms, before he rested his hands above hers. He took her hands and placed her palms on the table and whispered for her hands to remain there. He ran his fingers through her hair once again, gently gripping and pulling her head up. She watched her reflection, seeing her body moving to his invisible touches. He positioned her, back arched slightly inwards and she was able to see the straps of her corset as well as her stiletto, which hovered menacingly in his grasp.
The blade danced in the air and then hooked underneath the upper most straps that held her corset. The Count leant in close and whispered, “You know I am going to claim you little slayer. You will become My pet. You will serve My every desire. Before I do so, I am going to strip you of your former self. I will cut you free from who you were. You will become My slayer pet and nothing else will exist.”
He paused for a moment to let his words sink deeply into her mind. The realisation that he was going to strip away all that she was, all that made her Jacquelyn should have greatly disturbed her. Curiously, she felt no hesitation, nodding meekly, her eyes watching the dancing of her stiletto in his invisible hand.
“Yes, you will become an instrument of My will. Just think about how wonderful it will be to serve Me. You will fulfil your current purpose in a new and far more…pleasurable way.” The words rolled off his tongue and made her quiver in desire at the thought.
“You will slay My rivals in My name. You will continue to protect the innocent from…My kind. You can still take joy in the hunt, the thrill of facing down a worthy opponent. Never again will you fear the gaze of another vampire as you continue to slay them” He continued to whisper, his voice tempting and alluring.
“I am going to cut you free of all that restrains you from becoming bound to Me completely." The Count slid the tip of the stiletto beneath the upper cords of her corset.
"I free you from your former duties and responsibilities.” He brought the stiletto up, cutting through the straps.
Jacquelyn felt a weight lifting from her shoulders. Her corset loosened away from her body a small measure and Jacquelyn was struck with the sense of being free. Her shoulders dropped slightly and she let out a long sigh of relief. “How do you feel now?” He asked her and she could almost hear the grin in his voice.
“Free…” she stated simply, it was the truest way she could describe it.
He slipped the stiletto lower, “Think of all the times you have been afraid. The way fear gripped you, terrified you. How you have felt that desire to hide, to run and flee. Think of the paralysis that held you when your courage failed." Her body tensed up as thoughts of all her fears gripped her. She tried to curl up, but she remained locked in the position the Count had posed her.
"I release you from its hold.” The Count cut away another strap.
The corset dropped a little further away from Jacquelyn’s body. As he cut away the strap, she felt such a wave of relief. Her body instantly relaxed more and she felt safe, comforted by his actions. “What do you feel now My little slayer?” He asked, readying for the next strap.
“Unafraid and safe,” she breathed softly, feeling grateful for his action. She no longer feared losing herself to his will.
“Recall every moment your inhibitions held you back from what you desired. Think of all the pleasures you have denied yourself. Perhaps it is a soft caress upon your skin, a stolen moment or a guilty indulgence." Jacquelyn’s mind was awash with thoughts of all the things she desired and denied herself. Many of them fuelled by lustful thoughts and made her face flush.
"I free you from restricting yourself. I free you from denying your most inner desires!” He pulled the stiletto up quickly and it sliced through the third strap.
Jacquelyn gasped as she was released from denial. Her body gave a small shudder as warm arousal took hold and ignited quickly into an inferno. Her eyes fluttered as a long, low moan caught in her throat. She craved the sensation of touch. She ached for satisfaction. She could feel the warm wetness of herself and did not deny it.
The Count continued a wide grin on his face. “Now, My little pet, We will relieve you of free will. No longer will you need to worry over decisions that have consequences. You will not have menacing decisions of dire situations to make you anxious. I give you freedom from these. I will give you freedom from choices and thinking. I will take all responsibility for you.”
He cut away the second to last strap and the corset hung loosely from the final strap. Jacquelyn could feel herself almost free of its constraints on her body. It paralleled the freedom she felt within her mind. She no longer had to stress and weigh up her decisions. She no longer feared choices and consequences. It all became so clear. She only needed to listen and obey His will. It was perfectly simple. It was so beautiful to her.
She could see down her back, almost completely bare and exposed. Only one last symbol of her old self remained. Jacquelyn needed to be freed and she yearned for it, she craved it. She was so aroused, so completely caught up in the idea of being nothing else but His. She wanted to be completely His and nothing more. She moaned at the thought of the final step of her submission. Jacquelyn longed for the bite that would bind her truly to him.
“What does My pet feel now?” He whispered in her ear.
His voice sent shivers throughout her body and she felt a cool tingle on her neck. “i…feel...so free…relaxed and safe…i just want to…listen and…do as you ask…” She whispered. Her voice little more than a breathless pant of desire.
“Excellent My pet. Now I will release you from being everything that holds you back from your destiny. I will free you to be My pet. Nothing more and nothing less. I will bind you to My will and claim you!” He pulled her back, standing her upright and the blood rushed away from her head.
Her heart raced and he titled her head. The Count pressed against her body. Jacquelyn closed her eyes, focusing all her thoughts on his touch, his words. She wanted nothing more than to be claimed. She felt him lean in, felt his cool breath as he opened his mouth. She felt the tingle on her neck as his breath touched her skin. Feeling his teeth press against her skin pushed her against the very edge of release. Release from being Jacquelyn. Release from having free will and consequences. Release from all that she was. Release from the physical arousals and desires she had long denied herself. He pressed his lips to her neck. Her blood pulsed strongly through her veins. He drew up the stiletto through the final strap. Bearing his teeth he hissed into her ear, “And now I claim you!” And he clamped down on her neck. Jacquelyn felt the sharp pang as he bit, followed by an ecstasy that overwhelmed her. She cried out.